10 June 2022
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Diana Felix da Costa has launched a new website on Murle Heritage as part of her research project, "Youth in crisis"? The effects of post-independence violent conflict and displacement on Murle socio-political institutions in Pibor, South Sudan,” funded by the British Academy (2020-2024).
The website and research project draws on Murle visual, musical and performative culture to illuminate young people’s hopes, aspirations and positions in society and how these also reflect the fragmentation and militarisation of social structures in light of decades of violent conflict, displacement and political marginalisation in the Greater Pibor region of South Sudan.
Drawing on the wealth of Murle popular culture, the purpose of this website is to document, showcase and promote the wealth of Murle tangible and intangible cultural heritage in South Sudan and hold space to learn about Murle cultural heritage, its richness, diversity, fluidity and how it is changing, in conversation with the world around. The website also seeks to contribute to challenge decades-long negative stereotyping of Murle society in South Sudan.
On the emergence of the website, Diana said:
“The website emerged out of discussions between Helen Lukurynyang, an MP in South Sudan’s National Parliament, Joseph Lilimoy, an educator and currently Minister of Finance of Greater Pibor and myself. We thought such a platform could offer an easily accessible space to document, learn and discuss Murle heritage and the potential role it can play in contributing to generate a better understanding of the Murle community in South Sudan and beyond its borders.
Subsequently, consultations on the website were carried out among community representatives and the initiative was endorsed by community leaders and by a large number of Murle intellectuals. The hope is that the website will be fed by different voices and by individuals interested in contributing posts and sharing their knowledge.”